Round three of European qualification for Women’s World Championship Play-Offs throws off with two matches
Azerbaijan beat Portugal while Poland record third win
Round 3 of the European qualification for the Women’s 2013 World Championship Play-Offs threw off with a major surprise.
On Wednesday afternoon (21 November) Azerbaijan beat Portugal in Group 4 27:23 (17:13). The Eurasian team now is now back on track after three matches have been played in this qualification group that consists of just three teams.
And all of them – Turkey are the third team in this group – have two points after each team lost and won one match each respectively.
It was the first win for Azerbaijan in an international EHF competition since beating Greece in the qualification for the 2011 World Championship in December 2010.
After that, during the EHF EURO 2012 qualification, the former IHF Challenge Trophy winner lost all their matches against Hungary, Germany and Belarus.
Maria Tankaskaya (9 goals) and Ekaterina Peche (8) scored more than 60 percent of all goals for the host, while Vera Andrade Lopez was the best Portuguese scorer by eight goals.
Matches in this qualification group will continue on Saturday with Azerbaijan vs. Turkey, followed by the decisive matches Portugal against Azerbaijan on 28 November and Turkey vs. Portugal on 1 December.
Only the first team of each group qualifies for the Play-Offs.
Poland leave Lithuania without a chance
In the second match on Wednesday Poland recorded their third straight victory and remain the dominant team in Qualification Group 3.
2,100 fans in Elblag celebrated a never-threatened 48:18 (21:11) win against Lithuania which are still without a point on their account. Poland are already four points ahead of Italy and Belarus who face each other on Thursday.
The Baltic team could only stand the Polish power in the opening period until the score of 8:4; after that the hosts extended the margin minute by minute and had already decided the encounter at the break when they led by ten goals.
Even a huge rotation including the international debut of some players did not stop the Polish express, which were away by 20 goals for the first time at 33:13 in minute 41.
Best scorers were Katarzyna Koniuszaniec, who scored eight times and Patrycja Kulwińska (7 goals) for Poland, and Neringa Palyonyte (5) for Lithuania.
TEXT: Björn Pazen / ts
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